Physical and Emotional Benefits to massage
Massage has a huge number of benefits to all systems of the body. By massaging and relaxing the muscles there is a domino effect to all the other systems. Whether your need is to have a moment of relaxation, reduce muscle tension or attain relief from chronic pain, a therapeutic massage can enhance your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being.
Massage improves the circulation of blood in the body and that means an improved supply of nutrients to individual cells of the body, and also improved transport of waste materials from these cells. Moreover, improved circulation promotes clearer, softer and healthier skin as the skin cells become more nourished with nutrients and oxygen.
Relieves inflammatory conditions and promotes flexibility.
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis and bursitis can be treated using massage to loosen and relax muscles. Frequent massage increases flexibility in the joints and improves a wider range of movements. Fluidity of movement brought about by regular massage also lessens the chances of getting muscle injuries. When muscles work, they burn oxygen and glucose and produce lactic acid. This can build up in the muscles and add to muscle soreness.
Improves lymphatic system.
When your lymphatic system is healthy, you are less susceptible to various illnesses, plus your body has a heightened ability to heal itself. Massage promotes the stimulation of the lymphatic system, boosting the body’s immunity and natural defence mechanisms. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to drain from the tissue spaces protein-containing fluid that escapes from the blood capillaries. In addition the lymph plays an essential role in combating infection and in draining lactic acid, cell debris and intestinal toxins from the tissues.
Massage will also effect the balance and positioning of the skeleton and its joints. The skeleton has an intimate relationship with the musculature. Tense muscles will pull bones and joints out of place or, to look at it another way, bones that move out of place will stretch and apply tension to the muscles that they connect with. Massage can free up this tension and thereby allow the skeleton to move back into its proper shape, to integrate.
The nervous system.
The nervous system is the communication system. It connects every part of the body via the brain. Massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, this has the effect of slowing down the systems of the body, (except digestion) and encouraging the body to repair and renew. Massage also improves transmission of nerve impulses, the stimulating effect of massage will stimulate the neurons (nerve cells), improving the efficiency of the transmission of messages.
The Digestive System
The mechanical action of massage conducted in a clockwise direction will stimulate and assist the process of digestion and peristalsis. (The muscular squeezing of food along the intestines, by the intestinal walls.) Massage speeds up the elimination of waste products from the body, reducing their toxicity and alleviating constipation.
Peer-reviewed medical research has shown that the benefits of massage include pain relief. It does this by stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body’s feel-good hormones. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, back and neck pain, and many others can be helped by regular massage. Because massage relieves pain regardless of cause, it also lessens the body’s need for pain-killing medication.
Massage increases the blood supply, which carries nutrients to the skin and is seen as a redness (erythema).
The skin will be fed with the nutrients in the oils. The oil goes directly into the blood stream and feeds all the organs of the body. Massage can have an exfoliating effect and removes dead skin cells which improves the condition of the skin. There is some evidence that massage helps break down excess fat under the skin, thus aiding in weight loss and removal of cellulite.
Massage can also encourage tissue regeneration, which may help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
Lowers blood pressure.
Studies have been reported that a full body massage can help to lower blood pressure. This is important for those who suffer from hypertension. A full body massage can also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Therapeutic abilities. In hospital settings, massage has been introduced to trauma and surgery patients to help them recover and rehabilitate. It has been shown that post-operative massage therapy helps shorten hospital stay.
From the minute you lie on the massage table all of your thoughts, worries and your to-do lists fade away. You are able to quiet your mind and enter a state of relaxation and harmony. Massage can also fulfil the body’s need for touch. Regular massage improves emotional well-being by making the person feel nurtured. This lowers stress levels and feelings of anxiety.
Sense of peace and self-awareness.
When we get caught up in our lives we may lose the connection between our minds and bodies. Massage will bring awareness of areas of stiffness and tension that you may have not even noticed. Also, our minds can be filled with many thoughts, worries, regrets, hopes. Meditating or calming the mind during your massage treatment can help you isolate the important things and let go of the insignificant.
Enhanced alertness and concentration.
Massage can help renew your energy and lead to improved decision-making and a clearer sense of focus. This, in turn, helps the mind to be more creative and productive. Massage also makes one more aware of the body and helps one to identify what the body needs. If you are facing illness, stressors, or pain it can lead to trouble concentrating. Massage can help reduce muscle tension, improve circulation and relieve pain. In turn, the effects on the body will provide clarity and strength and energy.
Improved sleep pattern.
There are a lot of people that suffer from insomnia or other issues that deprive them of sleep. Regular massage sessions can relax the mind and the body, which can often be the first step to getting the body ready to shut down for the night. Sleep is the time our body heals, rebuilds and recharges, so lack of it can cause many problems such as irritability, lack of concentration, and exhaustion.
Reduced anxiety, depression, and stress.
Stress happens to all of us and it can have damaging consequences. In recent studies it has been estimated that 80-90% of all disease is somehow related to stress. The ability to relax during massage can bring changes to your body that can help reduce the causes and symptoms from stress. Massage stimulates the production of endorphins such as serotonin and Cortisol which reduce stress levels and helps with depression.